Otis B. Waters was one of the very first teachers at Berea College, alongside George Candee and William Lincoln.
Waters was an Oberlin graduate and came to Kentucky around 1854 by invitation of John G. Fee through Obed Marshall, teaching in Rockcastle County in an area called “the Cummins Neighborhood.” He was assigned to look over the construction of a school and meeting house and to teach there once it was finished. There, Waters taught children, both black and white and some as old as eighteen years, to read and write before officially being asked to teach students at Berea. He was paid by Fee and JAR Rogers through the American Missionary Association.
Like many of the early contributors to Berea College, Waters was an avid abolitionist. He writes about admiring the courage of John G. Fee, Cassius Clay, Obed Marshall, and many others and often received threats on his own life for his work in integrated teaching.